What Predator are you guessing?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kid-n-chickens, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. kid-n-chickens

    kid-n-chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Around two months ago I had a hawk attempt to get to the Banties in a rabbit hutch/cage. did not work about a month later went out to do lock up and missing a Australorp now around a month later we had just gotten a 4" snow, had to clear off an area for the chickens to come out. Went to lock them up and was missing a SLW no tracks in the snow did find four claw marks at the edge of the area I cleared off any ideas. Thinking I already know the answer to this but just want others opinions. And possible solutions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2008
    If you have no tracks, no feathers or anything then I would say you had a hawk or owl that was able to do a swoop and swipe. Yes owls do sometimes travel in daylight hours. I have lost full grown hens to hawk during the winter but there were feathers everywhere and they killed them inside my electric net fence and ate on them starting with the head.

    Good luck, I know how mad and sad I feel to loose one.
     
  3. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
  4. mothergoose

    mothergoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Chebanse, Illinois
    Hawks have been very bad for us over the last 12 months too. In fact 2 weeks ago a huge red tail hawk swooped down and killed one of our big pekin ducks. I would not have belived it, but saw it with my own eyes.
    We have had owls attack too, but usually they rip off the head and take the body with them. All I ever find is the head.
    Coyotes are a big problem for us too!

    I hope you can prevent the attacks, unfortunatly once they know where to get an easy meal...they never leave...I think they might even tell their friends!!! We are the "All Prey Buffet"

    Christie [​IMG]
     
  5. kid-n-chickens

    kid-n-chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the posts dont know whether to buy more hens or just give up and keep the ones we have left or at least hopefully keep the 8 we have left. Love having them and watching them in the yard but can not continually afford to spend $7-$10 per laying bird just for the hawk to get. Do you think the attacks will cease once winter is over and wildlife is out of hibernation or probably not b/c the chickens are easier.
     
  6. mothergoose

    mothergoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Chebanse, Illinois
    Unfortunatley, free range chickens are easy targets. But truthfully inside or out preditors are always a potential risk. I think you will always have a chance of a hawk taking an easy lunch, but they will go for the easiest prey and if mice or other small prey are aplenty, you may not see a hawk for awhile. The closer they stay to human activity or if you have a dog that makes his presence known, that may help keep them from coming in. Don't give up your birds yet. If you see you have a hawk hanging around, you may need to keep them in the henhouse for a few days till they figure out lunch is not available there.


    My inlaws had turkeys, geese, ducks, and a few chickens that just free ranged, most stayed pretty close to the house, but they could wander. They had birds for years like this with no more than your occassional loss once in awhile to owl or hawk, but not often. Then birds started to disapear..one at a time, but all eventually...even full grown turkeys. They thought it was coyotes until one day they caught her in the act...They had a female Golden eagle that had mad a nest in a big old tree down at their pond...needless to say, they nolonger had free range birds( she ate them all) now they have laying hens in a henhouse, but they have a covered run and never get to free range.

    I hope I am not making it worse for you, it was not my intention.
    Good luck,
    Christie [​IMG]
     

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